Vatican Moves to Block Pope Grilling Under Oath

Lawyers argue abuse case has no link to Rome
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2010 2:22 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI, wearing his Saturn hat, greets the faithful at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's square at the Vatican.   (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

(Newser) – Pope Benedict XVI should not be ordered to testify in a Kentucky sex abuse lawsuit, the Vatican's lawyers are arguing. The suit accuses the Vatican of covering up sex abuse, but Vatican lawyers argue that American bishops shouldn't be considered employees of Rome and that the Pope, as a head of state, shouldn't be required to give a deposition, AP reports.

William McMurry, the attorney pursuing the Kentucky case, says state law will determine whether American bishops are indeed Vatican employees. "I have yet to meet a Catholic, expert or otherwise, who does not believe that the Holy See has the absolute right to control the day-to-day activities of a bishop's work," he said. Many legal experts believe it will be impossible for federal judges to force the pontiff to give a deposition in the case, even if they rule in McMurry's favor.

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